FINS Attached: Marine Research and Conservation

A nonprofit organization

$4,993 raised by 39 donors

25% complete

$20,000 Goal


Shark and ray populations continue to plummet, with some iconic species endanger of extinction. Half a century of global decline in oceanic sharks and rays' assessed 31 species of sharks and rays and reported a 71% decline in global abundance since 1970. Global fishing pressure doubled and a tripling of shark and ray catches occurred during the same period. It is essential that governments step up and create new MPAs while expanding existing ones. This is what Fins Attached is fighting for.

Shark conservation is a crucial aspect of marine conservation, given the significant role sharks play in maintaining the health and balance of marine ecosystems. Sharks are apex predators, and their presence helps regulate the populations of other marine species, contributing to the overall stability of ocean ecosystems. However, sharks face numerous threats that jeopardize their populations worldwide. Here are key aspects of shark conservation:

  1. Overfishing and Bycatch: Overfishing poses a severe threat to shark populations, driven by demand for shark fins, meat, and other products. Additionally, sharks often become unintentional bycatch in fisheries targeting other species.
  2. Shark Finning: Shark finning involves cutting off a shark's fins and discarding the rest of the body at sea. This practice is often driven by the demand for shark fin soup, a traditional Asian delicacy. Shark finning is unsustainable and has led to a significant decline in shark populations.
  3. Habitat Loss: Degradation and loss of critical shark habitats, such as coral reefs and mangroves, impact their ability to find food and reproduce. Coastal development, pollution, and climate change contribute to habitat destruction.
  4. Climate Change: Climate change affects sharks by impacting ocean temperatures, acidity levels, and food availability. Changes in these factors can disrupt migration patterns, reproductive cycles, and prey availability for sharks.
  5. Lack of Regulation: In many regions, there is a lack of effective management and regulation of shark fisheries. Implementing and enforcing sustainable fishing practices are critical for the conservation of shark species.
  6. Education and Awareness: Raising public awareness about the importance of sharks and the threats they face is essential. Education initiatives can help dispel myths about sharks, promote understanding of their ecological role, and foster conservation-minded attitudes.
  7. Legislation and International Cooperation: Enacting and enforcing legislation to protect sharks is vital. Many shark species are migratory and cross international borders, making global cooperation essential for their conservation. International agreements, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), play a role in regulating trade in shark products.
  8. Research and Monitoring: Scientific research is crucial for understanding shark populations, behaviors, and the impact of various threats. Monitoring initiatives help assess the effectiveness of conservation measures and inform adaptive management strategies.
  9. Establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs): Creating MPAs that specifically protect shark habitats is an effective conservation strategy. These areas can serve as refuges where sharks are free from fishing pressure and other threats.
  10. Promotion of Sustainable Practices: Encouraging sustainable fishing practices, such as shark ecotourism, can provide economic alternatives to destructive activities. This approach supports local economies while conserving shark populations.


FINS Attached's mission is to conduct research, promote conservation, and provide education for the protection of the marine ecosystem

We believe in the preservation of our world's precious resources and that through the protection of the oceans apex predators, marine ecosystem balance can be maintained for the benefit of all living things on earth.

Background Statement

FINS Attached was founded by Dr. Alex Antoniou here in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2010. Dr. Antoniou has been working with and studying sharks for over 25 years. Now working with Scientists, Researchers and other Non-profits around the world to document and save Sharks and other endangered ocean inhabitants.

FINS Attached partners with numerous other non-profits around the world to research, educate, conserve and petition global governments and CITES. CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. FINS Attached attends and partners with other non-profits to lobby for stronger global regulations and protection for shark species.

Alex began his work by establishing a field station for the Shark Research Institute in the Honduran Bay Island of Utila and subsequently convinced the Honduran Government to enact protection laws for the whale shark in their territorial waters. He was the first to tag whale sharks in the Caribbean with satellite tags. From Honduras, Alex moved on to study sharks in Mexico and the Galapagos Islands. Recently, he initiated an acoustic-telemetry program to study scalloped hammerhead sharks at Cocos Island, Costa Rica. This research is ongoing.

Dr. Antoniou also works in Mexico. In 2008 he helped to tag white sharks with acoustic transmitters and also helped deploy acoustic receivers for data collection. The work in Mexico also includes the first tagging of sharks at the Revillagigedo Islands south of Cabo San Lucas. During an expedition in 2008 and one in 2009, a total of 17 sharks were tagged, including scalloped hammerheads and Galapagos sharks. Since then over 100 sharks have been tagged. The data from this research project is already beginning to collect valuable information that will hopefully lead to increased protection at these remote islands. The research is continuing with more plans to tag white sharks at Guadalupe Island and hammerhead sharks at Revillagigedo.

Alex has a passion for shark research and shark conservation around the world. In 2010 Alex founded Fins Attached: Marine Research and Conservation, a non-profit organization based in Colorado Springs. He feels that more people need to become engaged in protecting these magnificent and valuable creatures. Becoming educated about sharks is the first step.

Partnering with Principle Scientists over the years. First is Dr. Maurico Hoyos. He began his professional career in shark reproduction studies, becoming an expert on the subject. In recent years, he has been studying the behavior of several species in the Mexican Pacific and Caribbean, Costa Rica and Venezuela. He currently works with ten species of sharks, including hammerhead sharks and white sharks, both classified on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Mauricio conducts several talks aimed at students from pre-primary to university level, in order to change the perception of sharks. He has also participated as a scientific advisor in 13 national and international documentaries for such channels as Channel 11, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and IMAX. He is a founding member of the Mexican Society of Cartilaginous Fishes and is a scientific advisor to several foundations for the conservation of sharks such as Fins Attached and Saving Our Sharks. He is co-founder and director of Pelagios Kakunjá, A.C.

Recently Fins Attached entered into a coalition with "One Ocean Worldwide Coalition.

For the Oceans Foundation, Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation, Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation and United Conservationists, Inc. have signed a partnership agreement to join forces in marine conservation. The Coalition, with an initial duration of five years, includes initiatives and activities to combat illegal fishing, species protection, scientific research for data driven conservation, the effects of climate change and environmental education programs.

On August 8, 2022, four non-profit Non-Governmental Organizations recognized for their important contributions to the cause of the environment, joined forces to strengthen their capacity for action in the face of the growing effects of humans on the environmental, and the growing threat on the health of the oceans.

Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation is an NGO based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA that conducts research to promote conservation, provide education and protect endangered marine life. Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation is a Canadian based charity committed to protecting sharks and ocean ecosystems. For The Oceans Foundation is a NGO created in Costa Rica to help combat Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, promote responsible fishing and the protection of marine wildlife. United Conservationists is an NGO based in Venice, California, USA, that provides communication and planning tools needed to protect local and global ecosystems.

The objectives of the Coalition include the development and organization of research, conservation and communication projects, improving knowledge of marine migratory species in protected areas, establishing a working relationship to advance their missions, broadening their knowledge base and committing to share the cause of conservation. Each coalition member brings specific strengths to the group that, when combined, will have a profound impact on ocean conservation that leads to international policy changes for great protection.

Organization Data


Organization name

FINS Attached: Marine Research and Conservation

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)




Organization Size

Medium Organization


5297 Palomino Ranch Point

Service areas

El Paso County, CO, US



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